Aruanas, a drama series released by GloboPlay this week, is the first time that a we get a look in this way, into the life of an environmental activist on the frontlines of climate protection. This undertaking comes as a response to a critical time in politics, which in Brazil has led to the weakening of environmental laws and penalties, and has paved the way for weaponisation, hunting, oil drilling and slash-and-burn activities.
Behind the scenes of this series, with a strong desire to make a difference are some of the world’s major NGOs: 350.org, Amnesty International, Brazil’s Indigenous People Articulation (APIB), Conectas, Global Witness, Greenfaith, Greenpeace, IMAZON, IPAM, ISER, Instituto Betty & Jacob Lafer, Instituto Socio Ambiental, Justiça Global, Open Society Foundations, Rainforest Foundation, SOS Mata Atlântica, UN Environment, UN Women, WWF.
While this is a work of fiction, and the content is for mature viewers, we are encouraged by a series showcasing the threats that climate defenders regularly face in their work and daily lives. Actors Thaís Araújo (an attorney in charge of advocacy, dealing with the “three supreme powers” in an attempt to use the law to save lives, also known as “the good lobbyist”), Leandra Leal (a frontline activist who has direct contact with the communities), Débora Falabella (an investigative journalist), and Thainá Duarte (an intern who discovers herself in the profession) help tell their story.
We from 350.org hope that this series will use entertainment to get an important message across to society. Please note that the content does contain some violence and therefore is for mature viewers.
Issues Aruanas highlights:
- The extraction of petroleum: the series features an operating mine that makes millions of people sick by polluting nearby water, air and the soil.
- The local economy: the series shows how business activities shift to suit demand generated by the mines, with consequences such as sexual exploitation of minors.
- The political and legal aspects of defending the environment: the series shows how political and legal measures are put in place to facilitate extraction from a legal standpoint even when this may cause harm to the local population.
- Human rights: the series exposes the cruel reality of indigenous people in the face of brutal vested interests, as well as the work of the activists who support environmental causes to protect human lives. It’s an alarming and sad fact that according to Global Witness, the life of Latin-American and Brazilian activists is becoming increasingly more dangerous: 60% of murders of climate defenders take place in Latin America and Brazil is the country where activists who defend life and the environment are murdered most.
We hope that this series will not only raise awareness but also help the population stand up for the many urgent and alarming issues we are witnessing today, not only in Brazil, but worldwide.